DAR ES SALAAM Jan 6 The number of tourists
visiting Tanzania rose 10.4 percent in the 10 months to October
compared with the same period last year, the finance and
planning ministry said on Friday, despite higher prices for some
Tourism is the main source of foreign currency in Tanzania,
best known for its beaches, safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.
As part of an initiative to boost revenue, the government
lifted an 18-percent VAT exemption in July on some tourist
attractions, including wildlife park entry.
Tour operators had opposed the tax, saying it would stifle
the tourism sector which employs more than 500,000 people.
However, arrivals increased to 1,020,816 in the most recent
period, according to the ministry of finance and planning.
Tanzania made $2.23 billion in 2015 from 1.1 million tourist
arrivals, a slight decrease from 1.14 million arrivals in 2014.
"Claims that tourists have run away from Tanzania because of
the introduction of value added tax (VAT) on some tourism
services are without merit," the ministry said in a report.
Last month, Tanzanian president John Magufuli announced
plans to revamp the cash-strapped national carrier in a bid to
boost the tourism and transport sectors, aiming to double annual
foreign visitor arrivals.
(Reporting Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Aaron Maasho and